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"While the negotiations for peace were carrying on between Great Britain, France, Spain and Holland, news -was received from the East Indies, but such as had not a, favorable aspect on the British interest in that quar1781. ter. Adm. Susfrein, with twelve ships of the line, and *lpnI adm. Hughes with eleven, engaged afresh on the 12th> of April 1782, This action appears to have been the most bloody that had been fought during the war, down to that perjod> in proportion to the number of ships. *Fhe British; had 144 killed, and 430 wounded. The Erench aster that proceeded to land a body of troops, wihich, being joined by.some thousand seapoys sent by J3yder. Ally, invested and reduced Cuddaiore on the coast of Cpromandel. When the preliminary article* between Britain, France and Spain were. exchanged, on W tbe 3d;o£ lajfe February, further adviceswere received;^
from the East Indies, giving an account, that notwith- *78*» standing a victory which Sir Eyre Coote gained over Hyder Ally on the ados June 1782, the latter kept the field j and six day* after, by the help of his numerous! cavalry, surrounded and cut off an advanced body of the British army, and continued to harass it much ia itfr march. Shortly after Sir Eyre's bad health obliged him to relinquish his command. The French fleet being; fully repaired left Cuddalore, and on the 5th of July came in sight of the British at Negapatam. Sir Edward Hughes immediately put to sea. The next day juiy he commenced a close action with Mons. de Suffrein^ 6' Both fleets suffered much, and at night anchored at no great distance from each other. In the morning the French strips sailed to Cuddalore; while the British were so damaged in their rigging that they could not pursue. Suffrein refitted his squadron with the utmost expedition, put to sea the beginning of August, formed a junction; with a number of French transports and some men of war, and sailed directly for Trincomale, which surrendered to him on the last day of the month. Hughes upon gaining intelligence at Madras of what was goingforward, sailed instantly for the relief of the place; but did not arrive before it till the 2d of September. Thenext morning Suffrein came out of the bay with 15 ships Sept. of the sine, including 3 fifties. Hughes, with only twelve* ** including one fifty, was ready to receive him. The engagement began about noon with great fury on each side; and continued with equal obstinacy till about seven, when the French admiral drew off, aster having lostboth his mizen and main-mast, and had several ships gjrpady damaged. He returned to Trincomale at night,
»?8$. but lost a 74 gun ship in re-entering the harbour. This was the fourth battle that had been fought between Sir Edward Hughes and Mons. de Suffrein within seven months. Never before had there been so obstinate a competition for the mastery of the Indian ocean. Though the bravery and skill of the British admiral and sailors prevented Suffrein's availing himself of his superiority for the capturing of his enemy's ships, yet he displayed uncommon courage, and exerted himself in such a manner, as showed him to be an able commander and a. determined foe. About the 20th of September, Sir Richard Bickerton, with a squadron of five ships of the line, and near 5000 men, arrived at Madras.
In December last Hyder Ally died. Upon which gen. Mathews was ordered by the presidency of Bombay, to proceed with his whole force into the country of Canaree, in order to possess Bednore, the capital, where Hyder's immense treasures were supposed to be, together with all his magazines for war. As the place was incapable of resistance, it was delivered up to the British general upon his appearing before it, together with the province, by capitulation. The general imprisoned the Indian governor in direct; violation of the articles, and committed various irregularities. After that the general besieged Mangalore, the principal sea port and marine arsenal of Hyder Ally, which surrendered on Mtr. the 9th of March. Tippoo Saib, who had succeeded 9' to his father Hyder Ally's designs as well as his power, resolved to relinquish the Carnatic j and marched with above 100,000 men to reseue Bednore. Gen. Madiews, though he had only between 2 and 3000 troops, of whom about 700 were Europeans, determined to march out of the capital, and give battle to Tippoo Saib in an open >78J« plain. The contest was short; his handful of men was totally routed with great slaughter; and he was obliged with the broken remains of his force to take shelter in the fortress, which stood upon an eminence nigh the town. After a siege of near three weeks, the garrison obtained terms from Tippoo Saib, securing their private property upon their delivering up what was public, and promising them safe conduct to Bombay. These conditions depriving them of the immense booty they had acquired, they determined upon eluding the same by dividing the treasure among themselves. Tippoo Saib, when the contrivance was discovered, considered the articles as annulled by this breach of faith; put both officers and men under confinement, and stripped them of all they possessed. When they had suffered many indignities, they were sent to a fort up the country loaded with irons. The general and several officers are thought to have been put to death with circumstances of great cruelty. The success that followed the recovery of his capital, encouraged Tippoo Saib to besiege Mangalore j and the garrison was reduced to great extremity. But they were relieved by the news of the general peace, which arrived in July.
Sir Eyre Coote went by sea to Bengal for the recovery of his health. When upon his return to Madras, he was chased forty-eight hours by two French men of war. The solicitude and fatigue he underwent in con* tinuing nearly the whole time upon deck, occasioned a relapse. He got safe into port o/i the 26th of April,, and died the day after his arrival, at a juncture when his abilities were greatly wanted, Though the re
178J. treat of Tippoo Saib from the Carnatic was of eminent